SYNOPSIS

BARBA is a full-length musical celebrating the life of Brazilian-born Fernando Barbosa “Barba” Ferraz, the creator of the world-renowned body percussion ensemble Barbatuques, who discovers he has an extraordinary gift for creating music using his own body as an instrument. During his mission to share this accessible form of music, and teach others to tap into their own musical creativity, Barba is diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. Following surgery, this virtuosic musician dedicated to rhythm is rendered profoundly disabled, now finding himself dysrhythmic, and out of sync.

2024 Production at Pregones Theater. Photo by Krystal Pagán

CAST & CHARACTERS

2024 Production at Pregones Theater.  Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Cast size: 12-20+. Six principal characters (three women, three men), plus an ensemble between six to fourteen (this number includes musicians). The entire cast is the orchestra–they are going to make all the music (and sound effects) through body percussion and a cappella music. The larger the ensemble, the richer the soundscape. Some cast members will play portable instruments: Brazilian pife (a transverse bamboo flute), the Berimbau (jaw harp) and the guitar.

The cast should reflect the diverse composition of Brazil–a mix of Latin, African, Indigenous, European and Asian individuals. One of the lead characters (Barba’s sister) is physically handicapped–confined to a wheelchair [as she is in real life]–and she demonstrates remarkable resilience and perseverance in the face of her limitations.

BARBA DEVELOPMENT

2024

· OFF-BROADWAY. PREGONES/PRTT 

THEATER, NYC (February 2024)

Original fully-staged production by R.Evolución Latina, 

directed and choreographed by Luis Salgado.

 

· JACOB’S PILLOW (August 2024)  

Musical Theatre Performance Ensemble featuring BARBA

 

· 38th ANNUAL NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MUSICAL THEATRE

NAMT Festival Committee Recommendation 2024

 

2023

· LATINÉ MUSICAL THEATRE LAB BENEFIT CONCERT (October 2023)
Cutting Room, NYC.

· LATINÉ MUSICAL THEATRE LAB. Reading Series (October 2023)
AMAS Musical Theatre Studio, NYC.

· JOE’S PUB, PUBLIC THEATER. NYU GMTWP Showcase. (May 2023)
The Public Theater, NYC.

CREATIVE TEAM

CARLOS BAUZYS

Book & Music

Carlos Bauzys is a composer, orchestrator and musical director from São Paulo, Brazil—highlights include: Aparecida – Um Musical, Isaura, O Pífaro, Silêncio em Apuros, Bichos do Mundo and Kin Con Krof. Musical director and conductor of several first-class musical theater shows in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), highlighting:  Funny Girl, Summer – The Donna Summer Musical, Zorro, Sunset Boulevard, Peter Pan, The Producers, Singin’In The Rain, Man Of La Mancha, R&H Cinderella, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hello Dolly, Grey Gardens and La Cage Aux Folles. Musical director and arranger for Disney Plus Brazil in the project Uma Garota Comum (2023). Co-Musical Director of Barbatuques (world-famous Brazilian body percussion group). First Brazilian to be awarded a Full Tuition Scholarship in the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU (MFA ‘23, Cycle 32). Bachelor in Composition and Conducting at the Institute of Arts UNESP.

KIM BIXLER

Book & Lyrics

Kim Bixler is a songwriter, author, playwright and public speaker from Southern California. Prior to attending graduate school at NYU Tisch’s Musical Theater Graduate Writing Program, Kim published her latest book Growing Up in a Frank Lloyd Wright House and was featured in the PBS documentary Frank Lloyd Wright’s Boynton House: The Next Hundred Years. In addition to her plays and musicals based on the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Kim has written two other books, several short plays, a few mini musicals and monologues that are not about the architect. Kim graduated from Cornell University, and attended Harvard University as a college scholar studying political science and history, prior to getting her MFA in musical theater writing at NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Fernando Barba with Ana Fridman and Carlos Bauzys. Photo from the Barbatuques Collection

MESSAGE FROM CARLOS BAUZYS:

“As the former co-music director of the Barbatuques, and close friends with Barba, I’m excited to have the opportunity to tell Barba’s history in a musical, because it is also my history. Today, Barbatuques is a very well-known group in the world with reference to body percussion, but Barba’s influences are also in musical education across the country. The way he could create music from nothing, using just the body and the creativity coming from all people around him was so special, evolving and inclusive.”

Barbatuques

BODIES AS INSTRUMENTS

Founded by Fernando Barba in the mid 1990s, Barbatuques (Portuguese for “Barba’s drummings”)  is an 11 to 13-person music group from São Paulo, Brazil that fuses techniques of body percussion, a cappella music, vocalizations, Brazilian rhythms, international sounds and music improvisation.

The Barbatuques in action. Photo by Inaê Coutinho

COLLABORATIONS

The Barbatuques have performed in over 20 countries around the world. In addition, they have participated in shows and recordings with numerous international artists and groups such as: STOMP, Bobby McFerrin (USA), Camille (FRA), Çudamani (Indonesia), Keith Terry (USA), One Giant Leap (UK), Stênio Mendes (BRA), Badi Assad (BRA), MarkuRibas (BRA), Chico Cesar (BRA), Naná Vasconcelos (BRA), Robertinho Silva (BRA), Djalma Corrêa (BRA), among others.

The Barbatuques in concert. Photo by Barbatuques Collection

BARBATUQUES & EDUCATION

Fernando Barba teaching students body percussion. Photo by Inaê Coutinho

Educational workshops, improvisational sessions and school programs are at the heart of Fernando Barba’s and the Barbatuques’ mission. Students can experience the joy of being the musician, the composer and the instrument at the same time. Participants can learn about rhythm, music theory and performance through their bodies and best of all…their instrument is free.

Fernando Barba and André Hosoi. Photo from the Barbatuques Collection

Short Documentary about The Barbatuques, featuring Fernando Barba and André Hosoi (in Portuguese)

DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THEM?

Barbatuques Highlights

Closing Ceremony Rio Olympics 2016

Disney's RIO 2 Film

SONGBOOK (Scores)

Scores and lead sheets of a dozen of Barbatuques’ popular pieces. Music transcribed by Carlos Bauzys and Barbatuques. (Click image for purchase options)

ALBUMS & DVDs


· Corpo do Som” (2002)

· O Seguinte É Esse” (2005)

· Corpo do Som ao Vivo” (2007)

· Tum Pá (2012)

· Tum Pá ao Vivo” (2014)

· AYÚ” (2016)

· Só + 1 Pouquionho” (2018)

BARBATUQUES performance. CANAL 100

Audience Improv with Barba

Recording Sessions

BAIANÁ in concert

20th Anniversary

About Carlos & Kim

Carlos Bauzys and Kim Bixler met when they were paired together while auditioning for NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (GMTWP). They collaborated on numerous pieces during the two year program, culminating in their master thesis project BARBA: Brazilian Body Percussion Musical. Their final year in the program was dedicated to completing a full-length musical with the support of the faculty, staff and their fellow students.

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